Which kit to choose?Deciding which electric bike kit is right for you isn't always straightforward and there are a number of factors that will influence your decision:
* Are you intending to ride on road or off road?
* Is the bike for commuting, family leisure time or weekend fun?
* Will you fit the kit yourself or have it professionally installed?
* What will the bike look like when the kit has been fitted?
* Will anything need to be changed on the bike to allow the kit to be fitted?
These are fairly typical questions that many of our customers have posed when deciding which electric bike kit to choose. We're sure you have a number of questions of your own too. So, here's our quick guide to choosing an electric bike kit with the pros and cons of each kit listed to help you decide.
Road Legal Kits
The following kits are legal to use on UK roads and are the same specification as the electrical components fitted to factory produced electric bike. The main difference is that the quality of our kits is higher than many factory bikes and so the failure rate is much lower.
* 250w Front Hub Kit
* 250w Rear Hub Kit
* 250w Mid Crank Drive Kit
All of these 250w kits will give pretty much the same performance. They're designed to comply with UK law so will stop giving assistance at just over 15mph. The main question of course is "will 250w be powerful enough to help me up steep hills?" The answer is "Yes" - if you fit the pedal assistance system (which we strongly recommend - it will transform the riding experience). By choosing a high power level on the pedal assistance controller and pedalling normally you'll have the ability to tackle hills that you wouldn't consider attempting on a normal bike. You only need to go for a more powerful 500w or 1000w rear kit if you're offroading and have a need for speed. So for onroad use in even the most hilly areas then any of the 250w kits will be suitable from a performance and legal perspective. You just need to decide which of the 250w kits you want.
Front hub kits are easier to fit as a DIY project, primarily because you don't have to disturb your gears. Rear hub kits look neater and will give better traction on a greasy surface. Mid drive kits look neat when installed and you get to keep your original wheels but in all honesty we haven't found a great deal of benefit of crank drive over hub drive.
The hub based offroad kits can be restricted down to 250w to make them compliant with UK law but in their derestricted state they're not allowed on UK roads. So, if you're thinking about a more powerful kit like the ones listed below then be sure that you'll be offroading or you'd be better investing in a 250w kit:
* 500w Rear Hub Kit
* 1000w Rear Hub Kit
Before going into the benefits of these kits we should point out that they do add considerable weight to the bike, primarily due to the weight of the motor. The ECU controller is also too large to fit into the standard holders which means that a larger waterproof bag is supplied to house this. So, the installation isn't quite as tidy as with 250w kits. Still interested in a 500w or 1000w kit? OK...here we go...WOW!! The acceleration and speed of the more powerful kits is something to behold - it really is great if you want to take your bike offroad for the weekend and have some fun. The weight of the bike and the extra waterproof bag strapped to the frame of the bike doesn't enter your thinking as you accelerate through the gears to hit top speed. Both the 500w and 1000w kits are gearless so there's some resistance/drag from the wheel when you're riding the bike without the power on. But the point of a bike with one of these kits is that the power will always be on so that issue does become redundant. You will use battery fairly quickly (20 - 35 miles between charges depending on the choice of battery) but you'll do it with a huge smile on your face. Deciding which of the 500w or 1000w kits to choose is relatively simple - choose the 1000w if you want outright speed (up to 30mph) but don't have hills to tackle or choose the 500w kit if you want a combination of speed (20mph) and hill climbing ability.
So, which kit should you choose? The 250w kits are the sensible options that will suit the majority of needs from commuting; leisure cycling and holidays. The higher powered kits will suit most thrill seekers who want to have some fun on their bike at the weekend. Whichever kit you decide to install on your bike you won't regret it - we never tire of watching our customers take their newly converted bike out for a test ride and proclaim (whilst smiling) "that felt great - it's makes cycling so easy".